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3 min|Rhiannon Lockhart

What is a Holistic Nutritionist?


In Canada, there are typically two types of people you will see in the nutrition world: dieticians and holistic nutritionists.

Depending on the practitioner, who may have very different experiences in seeing either. So to clear this up, let’s dive in and discover exactly what is a holistic nutritionist and how do they differ from dieticians I’ve seen in the past?

What is a holistic nutritionist?

A holistic nutritionist is someone who uses both traditional practices, like TCM, ayurveda, a combination of both, or others, alongside conventional scientifically validated studies to support a person’s whole-body nutrition. They will get to the root cause and focus on supporting these issues with food, lifestyle, and supplementation. 

At Integrative, we have a Registered Holistic Nutritionist on staff who supports our patients to create and implement lifestyle and diet changes, alongside other therapies conducted by your Naturopathic Doctor.

What happens in your appointments?

This will differ depending on the holistic nutritionist you see and how they set up their practice. For example, if you see our holistic nutritionist and are already seeing a Naturopathic Doctor, you will go through a full lifestyle assessment to determine your next steps and how to implement a plan with the greatest success! Your ND and holistic nutritionist will discuss the best way to balance all steps in your treatment plan.

If you are not already seeing an ND, you will be required to fill out our new client assessment form, review this with your holistic nutritionist and begin implementing your plans.

In both cases, you are provided an emailed outline that is specific to you! You will be given a protocol, along with recipes to support you in achieving your health goals. Typically, this includes 3-4 items of focus, but it is always dependant on what your goals are and your current lifestyle.

How does this differ from a registered dietician?

Some people will confuse a dietician with a holistic nutritionist. While there can be some crossover, depending on the avenue that the dietician or nutritionist takes after they complete their education, a dietician typically takes an approach based on government-regulated guidelines. 

That said, there are many dieticians today who do utilize traditional practices in their client's plan. 

So why would I choose a holistic nutritionist?

Holistic nutritionists will take a whole-body approach. This means also looking at a mind-body-spirit connection. At times, your protocols may not even include a food focus, but could focus on lifestyle adjustments that are necessary to hit your health goals, but are also realistic.

A holistic nutritionist looks to finding the root of the issue to support all body systems rather than simply masking the symptoms.

Looking for an appointment with our Registered Holistic Nutritionist? Book yours today!

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Rhiannon Lockhart

Rhiannon is the Registered Holistic Nutritionist at Integrative. She has a passion for making healthy eating easy, accessible and fun, loves getting outside, and enjoys spending time with her dog, Chloe!

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